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27 November 2012
The Portaltech Reply research into the use of digital channels by retailers has revealed some new and interesting results. The survey, which was carried out online in the UK in conjunction with a significant sample (in terms of sector and size) of over 150 retailers, was conducted once again by Portaltech Reply, Reply’s specialist consultancy for multichannel e-commerce strategy and solutions, eDigitalResearch, online business sector research specialists and IMRG, UK industry association for e-retail.
Survey results confirm that online and mobile channels are the key to future success and to boosting retail business. Interviewees stated that digital channel sales would reach 45% in 2014, with sales in traditional shops expected to drop to around 40%.
The retailers interviewed have evidently been aware of this trend for some time and a remarkable 98% claim to be “multichannel”, that is to have set up two or more retail channels for their customers (in most cases shop and website). This figure is 12% higher than in 2011. Among these, nearly half (around 41%) are currently developing a mobile channel.
Interest in and use of tools such as Google Adwords and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to secure better search engine positioning and provide additional purchasing methods for customers is rising, in line with the increase in searches on mobile channels.
The integration of the various channels remains a major issue to be tackled by retailers: only 35% of the retailers interviewed consider their channels "well integrated" (this is 13% fewer than in 2011), while 20% admit to having problems in this area.
According to the sample, the incumbent technology systems present the main obstacles to multichannel strategy development. The fact that all of the interviewees – literally every respondent, see 2013 as the year for planning investments in upgrades to technology and the implementation of a more effective multichannel vision is probably an endorsement of this awareness.
Part of the survey explored how well retailers know their customers. Without a doubt, consumers will tend to change their type of online experience as the number of channels available increases.
Of the retailers interviewed, 51% admitted having “no idea” how many visits to their channels a typical customer makes before concluding a purchase (5% more than 2011). A mere 7% of the sample claims to have this information, compared to 16% last year.
The full survey results are available at Retail Multichannel Vision
Portaltech Reply is the Reply company specialising in the provision of e-commerce implementation and Multichannel consulting services. The company has gained substantial experience in e-commerce since inception in 2000 by working on some of Europe’s largest e-commerce and MultiChannel retailing projects. Portaltech Reply is 100% dedicated to hybris technology and is one of the world’s most experienced and respected implementation partners with Platinum Elite status. Portaltech Reply customers include TUI, Costco, Iceland Foods, LK Bennett, Long Tall Sally, Office Shoes, O2, Bunzl Group, Thompson & Morgan and the Daily Mail Group. www.portaltechreply.co.uk
eDigitalResearch are insight specialists with an expertise in online and multichannel business. We bring passionate researchers, technical experts and art designers together all under one roof to work with clients and create bespoke insight programmes. eDigitalResearch not only offer unrivalled digital research expertise and insight support, but state-of-the-art technology and innovation that works seamlessly with your systems and data across customer touch points. Email
IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group) is the UK’s industry association for e-retail. Formed in 1990, IMRG is setting and maintaining pragmatic and robust e-retail standards to enable fast-track industry growth, and facilitates its community of members with practical help, information, tools, guidance and networking. The strength of IMRG is the collective and cooperative power of its members. For more information please visit http://www.imrg.org/ or email